We had a great time at the show today. Ribbon worked really well, but no Q's. In the first trial we started with go-outs. She had never been in this ring before (at the match she was in the other ring). So I was curious to see how she would do. When I set her up for the first go out, she marked her location immediately. The judge was getting in position and was just telling me the order of the exercises and Ribbon took off to do her go out. I took that to be a good sign!! Her go outs were beautiful. She glanced away once she was in her sit, so I had to hesitate before giving her the signal for the bar jump. The second part of the exercise was really good. I must be standing with my weight forward because her fronts are further away than normal. Moving stand, articles and seek back all were quite nice. The further into the routine we got the more she focused on the job at hand. She seemed quite interested in the judge and all the stewards coming and going in the ring. The final exercise was signals, she heeled beautifully, dropped like a stone, sat up like a shot and then ... no response to the recall signal. I think in fairness to Ribbon, I did the signal too fast because she was looking right at me. Overall I was quite pleased.
When I came out of the ring I did another set of signals and rewarded her for doing the recall. I also did the same thing just before going into the ring for trial #2.
For the next trial (which was about 25 mins later) We had routine #5, which begins with the moving stand. Ribbon heeled great, but during the exam the judge was really leaning over her almost to the point of resting her chest on Ribbon's back, this was too much pressure for Ribbon, so she took one step to the side. I had the same issue with my fronts in this trial with her sitting too far away and slightly to my left. The rest of the exercises went really well. Directed Jumping was awesome, she looked so confident and just flew over the jumps. She did jump the jump on the seek back but made her way back on line to get her front. The last exercise was scent discrimination. The first article was at 12 o'clock. The judge was standing quite close to the pile and I think because of what happened on the moving stand, Ribbon didn't want to go close to her. Instead of starting to scent at 12 o'clock which is her standard pattern, she came in through the middle, searched and grabbed a metal article (it should have been wood) and brought it back to me. Game over. The last article she nailed with no problem at all.
So overall I am really, really pleased with our weekend. Our next set of trials are in the same building in a few weeks. Very fun for me to back in the utility ring. Can't wait to do it again.